Oct 29, 2011
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Eagle Lake
- Region: Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
- Agency: Mt. Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest - Skykomish District
- Avg Rating: 3.00
- Why You Should Go Now
- Fall foliage
- Be Aware Of
We encountered the unmarked Eagle Lake "trailhead" at the "Toilet" sign. We followed the orange and pink ribbons, and a "Wild Sky Wilderness" sign confirmed that we were going in the right direction. The first part of the trail is a steep climb through forested mountainside. There is little underbrush, but there is little trail to follow. The ribbons were necessary to guide us uphill. The uphill climb is steep, and it is helpful to have hiking poles.
After we came out of the trees (we did see the jutting rock and dead tree noted by Janice Van Cleve in her 8-5-11 report, see picture), the hike became more difficult. The "path" continued over a granite boulder field, marked with cairns and occasional ribbons. Near the end of the boulder field, due to our slow progress, half of our group turned back to descend. Three of us continued for another 20 minutes. We reached the top of the boulder field, and crossed over the creek to a forested area, but we were unable to pick up additional ribbons or cairns as guide markers. Since we were worried about running out of time or dealing with the onset of darkness, we turned back without glimpsing Stone Lake or Eagle Lake.
Going down was as tricky, if not more so, than going up. Boots are a must for the downward scramble. We relied on cairns to guide us, but I'm sure that we came down a different way than we came up.
This trail is definitely more difficult than the 4-mile roundtrip and 1500 foot elevation gain suggest. However, it is worth the visit, especially with the fall colors. I plan to return next year, with more time available to devote to the Eagle Lake part of the hike.